Monday, March 2, 2015


i'm going to play a game. i do this when i can't sleep (like now) - usually in my head, but because this blog doesn't get a lot of action, i thought i'd share.
rules are simple. pick the first word that comes to your head corresponding with the letter of the alphabet. usually i do things like country names, types of trees, fruit, brands of cars, etc. today's topic is broad, and therefore, easy:  japan.

annnnnd go~

a - asakusa
area in tokyo known for maintaining the 'old' feel of the
entertainment district and it's famous senso-ji temple and shrine
more info

b - bento
aka "boxed lunch"
more info
lucky school kids have moms that do stuff like this with their bento

c - chanoyu
tea ceremony

more info

d - daruma
good luck talisman modeled after bodhidharma
more info
my daruma story

e - enka
traditional and/or sentimental ballads
more info
usually conjures up an image of something like this lady...
...but then there is also this guy - jero

f - fugu
it's poisonous - 
a chef has to be specially certified in order to prepare it
more info

g - genkan
entryway (technically, a foyer) - more info
first tip you are given about japanese customs is
"take off your shoes before you enter someone's home".
idk why people think this is unique to japan.
you better take off your shoes when you come into my house too!

h - himeji-jo
beautiful castle in himeji, hyōgo
more info

i - ikebukuro (hubby has been randomly saying this apropos of nothing the past few days)
commercial and entertainment district in tokyo
more info

j - jizo
protector of unborn children
more info

k - kaiseki
traditional multi-course meal
more info

l - licca-chan
essentially, the japanese barbie - more info
seems more like horror movie fodder than child's plaything to me...

m - maiko
apprentice geisha
more info

n - ninjin
(i just like the sound of it. and also carrots in japan are HUGE,
and the ones in kyoto are red. weird.)

o - onigiri
rice balls
more info

p - purikura
shortening of "print club" - or photo booth stickers

q - there is no q .... ichi maru Q? that counts, right? lol
109 shopping building in shibuya, tokyo
- called ichi (1) maru (circle) kyu (9)
...and nine sounds like q so it's made to look sort of like one
more info

r - ramen
noodle soup
more info (because it's NOT the instant crap you eat)

s - shinkansen
"bullet train"
more info

t - tayu
top ranked orian (prostitute/entertainer of yore) -
NOT a geisha
more info

u - ume
japanese plum - usually eaten pickled
and the blossoms are just a beautiful as sakura
more info

v - there is no v in japanese... i'll go with VICTORY! (not "peace", like we think)
inevitably, cameras come out and fingers go up
more info

w - wagashi
traditional sweets
more info

x - X-japan
superfamous visual kei band

y - yokai
japanese spooks
more info

z - zatoichi 
zatoichi: the blind swordsman
there are several versions but i've only seen this one.
it's a great movie written & directed by
and starring beat takeshi.
more info
it has an ending dance number that is equal parts
totally awesome and 'wtf did i just watch?!'

first, zenzen popped in my head, but that's hard to demonstrate in a picture.
fyi~ zenzen (one of my favourite expressions) means something like "absolutely".
ie. zenzen wakarimasen - i don't understand at all.
zenzen OK! - it's totally okay.


  1. LOVE this, twinie!! I wanna go, too, now!!

  2. There's a ramen spot next door that does "real" ramen and it's sooooo good and now after reading this I think I'm gonna get real ramen today. Also, I want to go to Japan!